Highlights from the Unitarian Universalist blogosphere, April through June 2020.
Kim Hampton couldn’t get past hearing that George Floyd called out for his late mother: “Black parenthood is so precarious in this country; starting with the higher rates of infant and maternal mortality. . . . Just getting them to 18 is a miracle. But the precariousness doesn’t end.” (Facebook, June 2)
The Rev. Adam Lawrence Dyer wrote that “‘policing’ can only result in societal failure: failures of trust, failures of agency and as we’ve seen all too tragically and all too often, failures of judgment and failures of racial bias.” (spirituwellness, June 8)
Doug Muder wrote that “When you suppress peaceful protest against legitimate injustices, and punish the people who do it, you make violent protest inevitable. . . . The riots are sending white America the message that this can’t go on. It could have heard that message when Eric Garner said, ‘I can’t breathe.’ It could have understood that message when football players knelt. But it re-fused.” (The Weekly Sift, June 1)
The Rev. Sadie Lansdale didn’t mince words: “We never, ever equate or compare the destruction of property to the destruction of Black life. Hold that truth close to your heart. Keep it always on your tongue. No human being is expendable. Black lives matter. . . . What blasphemy, what utter desecration of the holiness of human life to ever, ever compare Black lives to burning buildings.” (Facebook, May 30)
Dan Harper had words for white guys: “If you really want to change the status quo, then when you go to one of the protests, make sure for once in your life that you’re not in charge of anything. . . . [or] the center of attention. I’m a white guy myself, so I know how hard that will be; but that’s what we need to do.” (Yet Another Unitarian Universalist, June 1)
The Rev. Gretchen Haley discovered uncomfortable parallels between church and police: “[E]verything we’ve ever known about what church means requires re-thinking . . . it is possible that the whole thing needs to die in order to be reborn in a form that could truly serve abundant life for ALL. . . . [T]he Church is what we thought up as a way to God. But it’s not God. Just like policing is a way to protect and serve a community. Not protecting and serving itself.” (Facebook, June 25)
The Rev. Lynn Ungar and the Rev. Dr. Rebecca Ann Parker created a cello-accompanied reading of Ungar’s poem, “A Letter in Return.” “Make your heart a bowl,” Ungar wrote, “that is large enough to hold it all. Imagine you are the potter. Stretch the clay. Cherish the turning wheel. Accept that the bowl is never going to be done.” (YouTube, April 7)
The Rev. Karen Hering invites us to notice the ground beneath our feet as we begin the journey to a radically changed world. “In the uncertainties of this time of both pandemic and uprising, we are all asked to join a journey on unfamiliar paths toward unknown destinations. Not only is it a journey that can only be taken a day at a time. It is also a journey that cannot be taken alone.” (Karen Hering, June 22)
Nine years ago, I began writing the Interdependent Web blog roundup for UU World. I lived in Alaska, and blog-reading was my way to learn about Unitarian Universalism. In the years since then, I’ve had two children, moved twice, served in parish ministry, and discovered a new sense of call.
This fall, I will begin a master’s program in clinical mental health counseling at Western Washington University, here in Bellingham. At the same time, UU World is adjusting to a new publishing schedule. As Gretchen Haley said, sometimes one thing has to die in order for a new thing to be born.
These are strange times we are living in—an entire globe in limbo, waiting for what’s next. Power rests in the hands of the few, and it will take all of us working together to turn the world away from tyranny. I’m in. Are you?
Editors’ Note: We are immensely grateful to Heather for her work on the Interdependent Web. Over the years she has expanded the voices we hear, seeking out those who are quiet or less prolific. Week in and week out, she combed through hundreds of blog posts, Facebook posts, and the occasional YouTube video to select a handful of excerpts to challenge, comfort, and delight readers. We wish her the very best in her new endeavors.
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The Rev. Heather Christensen wrote The Interdependent Web, UU World's weekly guide to Unitarian Universalist blogs, from 2011 until 2020. She lives with her two young children in Bellingham, Washington.